Monday, 11 December 2017

The Element In The Room by Helen Arney and Steve Mould

The Element In The Room: Science-y Stuff Staring You in the Face (Festival of the Spoken Nerd) by Helen Arney and Steve Mould
Published in the UK by Cassell on the 5th October 2017.

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Why is it impossible to spin your right foot clockwise while you draw a 6 with your right hand?

Can you extract DNA from a strawberry daiquiri?

Would you make love like a praying mantis?

Should you book a holiday on Earth 2.0?

The Element in the Room will take you on a rib-tickling, experiment-fuelled adventure to explain everyday science that is staring you in the face. If you are sci-curious, pi-curious or just the-end-is-nigh-curious then this is the book for you.

Steve Mould and Helen Arney are two thirds of science comedy phenomenon Festival of the Spoken Nerd. As a trio they have appeared on QI, created their own experimental* comedy show 'Domestic Science' for Radio 4, toured their stand-up science shows to over 50,000 nerds (and non-nerds) and accumulated millions of views on YouTube.

I love going to the Festival of the Spoken Nerd live shows, but do sometimes find myself getting a little left-behind by explanations of the experiments I witness. Self-guided experimentation by way of The Element In The Room is therefore perfect for me. I can reread the scientific whys and hows enough times that the information actually lodges in my brain rather than skimming off into the distance!

The Element In The Room includes much of what is most fun about FotSN live shows - the humour, the tangential leaps of subject, and there's even a song. It is geared towards the home though and I have been enjoying trying out experiments in our caravan. I hadn't previously considered what a good laboratory it makes, but we have turmeric and noodles and I can cook up a curry. Making a grill pan chime like Big Ben is particularly impressive in such a small room. On the downside, poor Dave has had to listen to me recounting Quite Interesting facts and misremembered theories for the best part of a week. He's now reading The Element In The Room for himself and looking forward to extracting DNA from strawberries sometime soon.

If you're fascinated by the world around us and like your science based in practical experimentation, this could be the perfect book for you too.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Helen Arney and Steve Mould / Science books / Books from England

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